2

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What are the best articles on adapting paleo for diabetics?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 11, 2011 at 3:50 PM

My mom, uncle, and grandma are diabetic, and I've almost convinced them to try paleo. They all have very low BMIs and eat a very healthy, non-paleo diet. I'm going to send them a template of what to eat for a trial month. Right now, it reads as standard paleo fare, adapted to include some traditional Indian foods (they are Indian).

What are the best articles on adapting paleo for diabetics? Is anyone diabetic here, and willing to provide a couples sentences on what they eat along with results? I want to provide the diabetics in my family with safe and easy-to-follow information. Although this might not be logical, I tend to prefer advice from paleo MDs (Kurt Harris, Dr. Eades, etc) when it comes to paleo diets for pathologies. For example, my uncle has worse blood sugar control than my mom, and I'd guess that his paleo diet would differ a little from hers. I'm just not sure of the specifics.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 06, 2011
at 01:47 PM

Welcome Dr. Parker. Good to see another clinician on here. Feel free to speak your mind, argue, advise, and point out flaws.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 13, 2011
at 02:41 AM

By being on PaleoHacks and following Wholehealthsource, Dr Davis, Dr Harris, Robb Wolf, Theperfectdiet, hyperlipid, Chris Masterjohn, Melissa McEwen, John Durant, Nephropal, Freetheanimal, AnimalPharm, Health Correlator, Vit D Council & our Dr. K as soon as his blog is up and running....you probably know more than 80% of the physicians out there about practical health and the diseases of civilization. All most of them want to do is fix the problem...not prevent the problem.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 11, 2011
at 06:58 PM

Joshua-- good suggestion on the curries, I think that would be palatable to them.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 11, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Wow, I didn't realize cardiologists weren't necessarily aware of particle size!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 11, 2011
at 04:31 PM

First time was Atkins, 10 years ago - just to lose weight. Suddenly I had to drop my meds! But the sat fat scared me off and carbs crept up over time. Second time (2 years ago) did research and cold turkey again and evolved from Protein Power/Bernstein to paleo/primal/panu. My doctor is impressed with the results, but doesn't want to talk about what I'm doing - other than he's okay with it (but still wouldn't recommend it to others).

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on April 11, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Kamal, curries are a mainstay in my home, and even when going low carbohydrate (as I would suggest for Diabetics), this is simple to do by using rutabagas/turnips in place of starchy veg in the curry, and making cauliflower rice to serve the curry over (personally I serve mine over scrambled eggs...).

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 11, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Dave-- did you titrate your carbs down over time, to get down to 20-30 grams? Also, how did your doctor react to your diet (assuming you told him/her)?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 11, 2011
at 04:09 PM

Thanks for the links Dave, I definitely need to buy Bernstein's book. For now, I'm going to get my family to eat a little more meat and ghee and cut out the rice and vegetable oil. After I'm done with my research, they should be ready for bigger changes (I hope).

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 11, 2011
at 03:52 PM

And if anyone knows of a paleo endocrinologist with an online presence, that would be awesome!

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4 Answers

3
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 11, 2011
at 04:05 PM

http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2010/3/6/diabetes-i-vs-ii-and-diet.html

http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2009/6/17/bernsteins-book-good-to-read-if-you-dont-have-diabetes-yet-t.html

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/search/label/Diabetes%20and%20hunger

Also Nephropal has a bunch of stuff, but kinda technical. For diabetics, Bernstein is required reading (even if not paleo).

Typically, I eat pretty low carb paleo, but allow some high fat dairy. 20-30g carbs per day. Protein in large amounts can also affect blood sugar, just track food and test to see what works best.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 11, 2011
at 04:09 PM

Thanks for the links Dave, I definitely need to buy Bernstein's book. For now, I'm going to get my family to eat a little more meat and ghee and cut out the rice and vegetable oil. After I'm done with my research, they should be ready for bigger changes (I hope).

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 11, 2011
at 04:31 PM

First time was Atkins, 10 years ago - just to lose weight. Suddenly I had to drop my meds! But the sat fat scared me off and carbs crept up over time. Second time (2 years ago) did research and cold turkey again and evolved from Protein Power/Bernstein to paleo/primal/panu. My doctor is impressed with the results, but doesn't want to talk about what I'm doing - other than he's okay with it (but still wouldn't recommend it to others).

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 11, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Dave-- did you titrate your carbs down over time, to get down to 20-30 grams? Also, how did your doctor react to your diet (assuming you told him/her)?

1
Cdee7454bccdc4ac14ec23b9657eb573

on October 06, 2011
at 10:19 AM

Compared to a standard diabetic diet, a Paleolithic diet improves cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetics, according to investigators at Lund University in Sweden.

Researchers compared the effects of a Paleo and a modern diabetic diet in 13 type 2 diabetic adults (10 men) with average hemoglobin A1c???s of 6.6% (under fairly good control, then). Most were on diabetic pills; none were on insulin. So this was a small, exploratory, pilot study. Each of the diabetics followed both diets for three months.

How Did the Diets Differ?

Compared to the diabetic diet, the paleo diet was mainly lower in cereals and dairy products, higher in fruits and vegetables, meat, and eggs. The paleo diet was lower in carbohydrates, glycemic load, and glycemic index. Paleo vegetables were primarily leafy and cruciferous. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. Root vegetables were allowed; up to 1 medium potato daily. The paleo diet also featured lean meats (why lean?), fish, eggs, and nuts, while forbidding refined fats, sugars, and beans. Up to one glass of wine daily was allowed.

See the actual report for details of the diabetic diet, which seems to me to be similar to the diabetic diet recommended by most U.S. dietitians.

What Did the Researchers Find?

Compared to the diabetic diet, the paleo diet yielded lower hemoglobin A1c???s (0.4% lower???absolute difference), lower trigylcerides, lower diastolic blood pressure, lower weight, lower body mass index, lower waist circumference, lower total energy (caloric) intake, and higher HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Glucose tolerance was the same for both diets. Fasting blood sugars tended to decrease more on the Paleo diet, but did not reach statistical significance (p=0.08, which is very close to significant).

So What?

The greater improvement in multiple cardiovascular risk factors seen here suggests that the paleo diet has potential to reduce the higher cardiovascular disease rates we see in diabetics. This is just a pilot study. Larger studies???more participants???are needed for confirmation. Ultimately, we need data on hard clinical endpoints such as heart attacks, strokes, and death.

These diabetics had their blood sugars under fairly good control at baseline. I wouldn???t be surprised if diabetics under poor control???hemoglobin A1c of 9%, for example???would see even greater improvements in risk factors as well as glucose levels while eating paleo.

There are so few women in this study as to be almost meaningless.

Results of this study may or may not apply to non-Swedes.

I see a fair amount of overlap between this version of the paleo diet and Dr. Bernstein???s Diabetes Solution diet and the Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet.

I hope this is helpful to you. People with diabetes should check with their personal physicians before making any changes to their diet.

------Steve Parker, M.D.

Reference: J??nsson, T., Granfeldt, Y., Ahr??n, B., Branell, U., P??lsson, G., Hansson, A., S??derstr??m, M., & Lindeberg, S. Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 8 (2009) doi: 10.1186/1475-2840-8-35

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 06, 2011
at 01:47 PM

Welcome Dr. Parker. Good to see another clinician on here. Feel free to speak your mind, argue, advise, and point out flaws.

1
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 11, 2011
at 04:17 PM

I would suggest Dr. Davis' blog for diabetes.

http://www.heartscanblog.org/search/label/Diabetes

Be sure to click on "older posts" at the bottom of the page for more reading.

FWIW, I have a friend that was Type II with fasting glucose level of over 200 and was on Metformin, had uncontrolled high blood pressure, overweight by 50 pounds, had 5 previous coronary heart events...each requiring a stent, and was on lovastatin for his cholesterol of 270. Once he eliminated all wheat products, sugar, corn, veg oils and began on a high fat, moderate protein, few carbs, his fasting glucose dropped to under 100, high blood pressure slowly abated to normal, lost the 50 pounds and is now off all medications. His cardiologist is amazed and delighted and a bit confounded and perplexed that his paleo diet brought about such changes in less than 6 months. But the cardiologist is still worried about his high cholesterol of 320 and high LDL of 160, even though his NMR particle test showed he has a preponderance of large fluffy bouyant LDL particles. The cardiologist was not aware of the importance of particle makeup of the LDL until my friend produced lots of info to bring the doc up to speed. A good thing...the cardiologist was open to "new" information.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 11, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Wow, I didn't realize cardiologists weren't necessarily aware of particle size!

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 13, 2011
at 02:41 AM

By being on PaleoHacks and following Wholehealthsource, Dr Davis, Dr Harris, Robb Wolf, Theperfectdiet, hyperlipid, Chris Masterjohn, Melissa McEwen, John Durant, Nephropal, Freetheanimal, AnimalPharm, Health Correlator, Vit D Council & our Dr. K as soon as his blog is up and running....you probably know more than 80% of the physicians out there about practical health and the diseases of civilization. All most of them want to do is fix the problem...not prevent the problem.

0
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on October 06, 2011
at 08:43 PM

I'd go with Art De Vany.

The only reason he started eating this way 20 something years ago was because his son had type 1 diabetes, and then later his wife developed type 1 also. He charted his son/wife's blood sugar with the foods they were eating and basically stumbled on to the glycemic index and then paleo thru trial and error based on their numbers.

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